Don’t break the bank with these fun, family excursions.
Where: Linn | Distance from Jeff City: 30 minutes
Hours: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday
Cost: $3 donation (per person, includes food for animals)
Where Pigs Fly Farm — a rescue shelter and petting zoo in the rolling knolls east of Linn, Mo. — is home to more than 400 animals people can visit on the 62.7 acres. The farm is also home to Pigs Aloft Museum, the only museum of pig-themed items in America and the second largest in the world.
Where: Lebanon | Distance from Jeff City: 1 hour, 34 minutes
Hours: Trout Fishing hours – 6:30 a.m.-8:15 or 8:30 p.m., May-July
Cost: Varies (required fishing permit and daily trout tag); free on June 10-11
Bennett Springs State Park is known as a trout fishing haven, and families can test their skills and even learn the art of fly fishing on site at the Missouri State Parks-owned grounds. Families can also swim or float in the nearby Niangua River and watch the trout stocked daily in the hatchery onsite, with ample lodging in and just outside the park. It costs a small amount to trout fish with possession of a fishing permit and daily trout tag. However, from 6:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. June 10-11, everyone can fish for free in Missouri.
Where: Lesterville/Belleview | Distance from Jeff City: 2 hours, 43 minutes
Cost: Free admission
Both the Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park and Elephant Rocks State Park offer some of the most unique natural features in any of Missouri’s parks. Families can explore the natural water park and hydraulics of the Johnson’s Shut-Ins, where guests can view from an observation desk or swim is at their own risk. The park also offers many hiking and biking trails, fishing opportunities along the East Fork of the Black River, camping, cabins, horseback riding, birdwatching, a nature center and more.
Less than a half hour away, families can see the 1.5 billion year old giant granite boulders that make up the namesake for Elephant Rocks State Park. As much as they have amazed geologists and historians, they captivate children who utilize them as their own jungle gym. The park also offers a Braille Trail among its hiking activities, as well as fishing, picnicking, rock climbing and a playground.